After spending a year and a half commuting to work in London on the underground, there are a few pleasant differences on the Dubai Metro in comparison, but also there are some aspects which are not as good. This post will give a few points about the Dubai Metro, and how this compares with the London Underground. As it’s the 5th anniversary of the Dubai Metro, I figured I would give 5 points on why I think it’s better than the London Underground and then go into some of the aspects which are not so great.
- Air conditioning! It’s a great feeling being able to get on the Dubai metro on a hot day and have some air conditioning. I think most people would agree that the London underground is not a nice place to in the summer when it’s all hot and stuffy. Even sometimes in the winter, you’ll wrap up warm as it’s cold outside, then when you get into the underground you start roasting again so you need to take the layers off.
- Gold Class! This is essentially First Class, Metro Style. For a higher fee, you can choose to travel in Gold Class, which tends to have more space and comfier seats. Less people travel in Gold Class due to higher costs, which means you’ll have more room to yourself, which can be good for longer journeys.
- It’s cheap! We take the metro home from work every day, and it costs us around 30p each to go 2 stations. I think this has now increased slightly to around 45p but still isn’t too bad. In London, even a single ticket will cost you a few pounds, and monthly passes cost a bomb! I was spending £140 a month on a pass for the London Underground. Here I can spend around £15 and that will last me the whole month.
- The Dubai Metro is much quieter. If you’ve ever been on the London Underground you’ll know all about loud screechy train tracks, and just noise in general. None of that here; the lines and design are a lot newer which will have a lot to do with it and the journeys are fairly noise free from the train itself. However, sometimes there is some dodgy elevator style music on repeat on the Dubai Metro which can get very irritating!
- The Dubai Metro is generally a lot quicker than the London Underground. We can take the metro around 20 miles to Dubai Mall and this would take around 30 minutes. The speed is also due to there being less stations that in London, where they are every few hundred metres in some cases, so there is a bit less stop and start. The top speed also seems fairly high though; the Dubai Metro runs alongside the main road and you can see that cars don’t speed by too much quicker (excluding some of the crazy drivers over here!)
And here are some negative aspects of the Dubai Metro:
- It still smells sometimes and people still don’t care about personal space. Ever gotten on the London Underground and been stood around someone’s smelly armpit while they’re holding onto the top hand rail and practically stood on top of you? Not how I want to spend my commute home after a day at work. Unfortunately there are smelly people all over the world, so it’s still the case here. Also, as it’s hot here every day, it’s natural that people will sweat more, so there’s no getting away from it sometimes! The Dubai Metro never seems to get as packed as I saw the Northern Line every day, but it still gets busy during rush hours and weekends.
- The network is a lot smaller in Dubai. There are 2 lines in Dubai; the green and the red. One line runs up Sheikh Zayed Road from one end to the other and is mainly above ground (‘ve not been to the ends so not entirely sure). The other runs through the older sections of Dubai and is partially over but largely underground. After living in London, I would definitely say the network is not as good on the Dubai Metro. In London you can pretty much get anywhere on the underground, and if you’re on the outskirts you can still get to within a mile or 2 from the nearest tube station. In Dubai some of the stops may be a few miles apart, and in some areas if you are halfway between 2 stations, you still wouldn’t walk to one because it would be too far.
Overall I would say that I prefer the Dubai Metro to the London Underground. Although the network is smaller, for everything that I’ve needed to use it for it has been a far more pleasant experience. Also, as where I use it the tracks are above ground, it’s great being able to see outside instead of looking at the black walls with ugly wires and cables on the London Underground.